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Help on the way for tired, overworked doctors and nurses in Pinellas County

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Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 04:52:34-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Nurses and doctors across the state are tired and burnt out as they continue to help care for those that come into hospitals with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“We don’t know where the end is,” said Dr. Mansoor Khan, an ER doctor and the Senior VP of Envision Healthcare.

And while hospitals are slammed — help is on the way.

“There is specifically a very high demand right now for intensive care physicians,” said Dr. Khan.

He says, in working with the Department of Emergency Management, they will send in 300 additional doctors and nurses to Florida to help ease the burden.

Some of them will head to Pinellas County. They’re joining Envision’s 6,000 clinicians already based in the state.

“I think we were very lucky to have this infrastructure in place to support something like this happening,” he said. “I don’t think anybody could have fathomed something like this happening.”

Pre-COVID-19, the ENVOY team normally responds to natural disasters and emergencies across the country. Post-COVID, they’ve been sent to hot spots around the nation like New York, New Jersey and Arizona.

Dr. Khan was in New Jersey during its peak and says coming home was hard because he couldn’t be around his family. It’s a raw reality doctors and nurses everywhere must deal with right now.

“My 2-year-old wants to run and hug me when I get home and you’re telling your 2-year-old back-off,” he said, about the protocol they must take to keep their family safe.

He says many of the clinicians are already on their way and will stay as long as the need is here.

“Every clinician that I’ve talked to has stepped up and said 'where do we need help,' it’s never been you know 'I’m not going to help because I’m scared,'” said Dr. Khan.